Oct. 10, 1996

October 10

by Wendell Berry


Today's Reading:"October 10" by Wendell Berry from COLLECTED POEMS, 1957-1982, published by North Point Press.

This is the first day of the Autumn Glory Festival in Oakland, Maryland.

The month-long Fair of 1850 begins today in Lumpkin, Georgia, with cane-grinding and syrup making.

The World Mystery Convention opens today in Saint Paul, Minnesota, featuring a "Black Mystery Writers Symposium" with Walter Mosley.

George Gershwin's PORGY AND BESS opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City on this day in 1935.

English playwright Harold Pinter (THE HOMECOMING) was born on this day in London, 1930.

Janet Flanner's first "Letter from Paris" appeared in THE NEW YORKER on this day in 1925.

It's the birthday of jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 1917.

In 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Women's Social and Political Union to fight for women's emancipation in Britain.

It's the birthday of Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti, born in Borgonovo, Switzerland, in 1901.

On this day in 1881, Charles Darwin published what he considered his major work: "The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms with Notes on their Habits."

Giuseppe Verdi (LA TRAVIATA; AIDA; RIGOLETTO) was born on this day near Busseto, Italy, in 1813.

"The Father of American engineering," Benjamin Wright, was born on this day in Wethersfield, Connecticut, 1770.

It's the birthday of English physicist Henry Cavendish, who discovered many properties of electricity. He was born in Nice, France, in 1731.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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